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Wood Shakes and Shingles
We install and repair wooden shakes and shingles. Wooden shingles provide a
rustic look and field for your home. Ask one of our experts if this is the right
roofing product for you
What are wooden shakes and are they right for you?
Shingles are sawn from wood blocks; they are tapered and generally have a relatively smooth surface.
Shakes are split from wood blocks; they are less uniform in thickness than shingles, are sometimes
grooved, and frequently have little taper. Shakes may be split, then sawn to provide taper as well as a
relatively flat side, which is turned away from the weather during installation. Shingles and shakes can
also be used on sidewalls.
The most important factor to consider when buying shingles is durability and its resistance to decay.
Some woods have natural durability.The heartwood of old-growth western redcedar is rated as
extremely durable. However, the generally small amount of sapwood associated with this species is
not durable. There is general consensus that some second growth timber, even from a decay resistant
species, is not as durable as the old-growth timber. Nevertheless, the durability of any wood
decreases as rain or other sources of moisture leach extractives from the wood. For these reasons, the
use of a “durable and treated” wood for shingles is increasing. The most commonly used wood
for shingles is western redcedar. Treated southern yellow pine taper-sawn shingles are also available.
Other woods can also be used, if the shingles are properly treated. Using preservative-treated or
naturally durable wood for shingles should result in a roof free of decay for 25 to 30 years.
Leaves and other debris that accumulate on roofs, particularly in the valleys and gutters, trap moisture
in shingles, increasing the likelihood of decay. Therefore, clean loose debris from roofs and gutters
routinely. Overhanging limbs and vines that provide excessive shade keep the shingles wet for longer
periods, encourage moss growth, and may encourage decay. Periodically check the roof for moss or
lichen growth and apply a chemical treatment if necessary. A solution of 1 quart household bleach, 1
ounce detergent, and 3 quarts warm water can be used to clean the roof.